Monday, August 17, 2009
Shaker Furniture and Architecture
My wife and I were in New Hampshire last week visiting my son Devin at Dartmouth College in Hanover. We took a morning and drove over to nearby Enfield to visit the Enfield Shaker Settlement and museum. The settlement was started in the 1793 on the shore of Mascoma Lake and Shakers lived there until 1923 until they sold the property to the LaSalette order of the Catholic Church and moved to New York. In 1985 a private foundation purchased the property and began an ongoing project to acquire and restore the original Shaker buildings. The centerpiece of that ongoing restoration is the Great Stone Dwelling House, a six story stone dwelling built in 1841 that is the largest Shaker building ever built. Though it has been updated through the years, the Stone Dwelling still maintains architectural details and furnishings that demonstrate the Shaker ideals of simplicity, beauty and innovation.
The Stone Dwelling sits in the middle of a village complex that itself was the the center of almost 3000 acres the Shakers originally farmed.
(photographs copyright 2009 by Dan Routh)